A Letter to Readers

Dear Readers,

Get ready! We have some big surprises in store for you. With the
November/December issue, we will be unveiling a new design for
the magazine
. And you’ll find a substantially improved Web
site
(www.utne.com) beginning November 1. You’ll
still recognize us as a familiar friend, but we hope you’ll also be
inspired by our evolution.

We are also now busy creating our first-ever newsstand special,
The Utne Field Guide to Arts & Culture: The Best of What’s
Happening 2003
, which appears at a bookstore or magazine rack
near you on November 26. A timely look at the most promising and
important currents in American life, this is a bonus on top of the
six issues we normally publish each year. If you’re a subscriber,
you won’t receive it in your mailbox as part of your subscription,
so please buy a copy on the newsstand or order one directly from us
(look for the ad in upcoming issues). We see so many significant
shifts under way in our culture today-creative breakthroughs in the
fields of movies, music, books, design, performance, and other
arts
-that we wanted to capture all the excitement in one special
edition of the magazine. It will provide a great end-of-the-year
overview of what’s happening (and perhaps some holiday gift ideas
too).

Some years ago, poet Gary Snyder called Utne Reader ‘the
Swiss army knife of periodicals.’ Ever since, I’ve held on to that
phrase as the ideal of what we should aspire to be-a useful,
elegant, and indispensable tool helping you lead an inspired and
adventurous life. The Swiss army knife has become my personal
metaphor in all that we are doing right now, which is essentially
relaunching the company: How can we best deliver the information
and ideas that are most essential for these times? How do we do
that with a design that is friendly and navigable, both in the
magazine and on the Web? How can we make sure, in our fervor to fit
in as many ideas as possible, to also give you something that is
beautiful and makes you laugh? And how can we best be of service in
inspiring people to talk to each other about what they care
about?

As part of our Web site redesign, we asked readers and Web site
users to fill out a survey. The message that came through loudest
and clearest is that we are all longing to be inspired to put our
values and our passions into action. We intend to serve that
longing in everything we do-and you’ll see the fruits of our
efforts in a couple of months.
Thanks for accompanying us on the journey.

Nina Utne
and everyone at Utne Reader

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